Rev. Jeffrey S. Tunnicliff – Pastor
I became our pastor here at St. Michael’s on June 28, 2016 but my path to priesthood was not like of years long past. Years ago the common path to priesthood was that a man entered seminary immediately after graduating from high school (there was even some high school seminaries). The men attended “college (minor) seminary” for four years and then “major seminary” for another four years. They would be ordained about the age of 26, having never held another job.
I was baptized and attended the Catholic Church as a child but after Confirmation I stopped attending church. I never gave up on God or the church. I just didn’t go because I didn’t really understand what it was all about. In college I earned a degree in Ceramic Engineering before working for the New York State Department of Transportation doing Civil Engineering work. While working for the DOT, I felt called to return to church. I went from not going at all to going every week almost overnight. Within months I was serving in parish ministries and committees. I had found something wonderful! At the age of 31, I resigned from my job with the state and went to seminary. There I earned a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a Masters of Divinity in theology. Near the age of 38, I was ordained June 30, 2007, the Memorial of the First Roman Martyrs.
Through the years, I have come to realize God’s Will is better than mine. Our faith needs to mean something to us. I stopped going to church as a child because I didn’t really understand the Church. No one should interpret this to mean that it’s ok not to go to church because it isn’t. I see a vital part of my role as pastor as to help people see our faith as an awesome gift from God. That’s why I have my own website at www.renewaloffaith.org and what I seek to do as a priest.
(Here is Fr. Jeff’s letter to parishioners when he became our pastor.)
June Sherman – Pastoral Associate
After serving for 7.5 years at our neighboring parish to the east, St. Joseph the Worker, overseeing their children’s faith formation, youth ministry and supporting pastoral ministry in the parish, June joined our parish staff in February of 2015 to run our faith formation and youth ministry programs. June’s desire to work in pastoral ministry began in 2003. She obtained a certificate in Pastoral Ministry from St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in 2009. Following Pat’s retirement, June has begun her full-time work in Pastoral Ministry.
June looks forward to using the gifts which God has given her to minister to the parishioners of St. Michael’s and to minister to those who come to our parish center that are in need of assistance, whether it be for a food card, gas card or just someone to talk to.
In the future, June would like to work more closely with the Newark Ecumenical group, Together in Christ (TIC). She will also be meeting with people from other organizations who serve the people of the Newark community, such as Catholic Charities, Care Net and the Salvation Army, in order to become more familiar with the types of assistance they offer and to work together in helping those in need. In knowing what other organizations offer, June will be better able to assist in guiding people where to go for the assistance they may need. June would also like to encourage more parishioners to use their gifts where needed in parish ministries at St. Michael, such as helping with the Martha Ministry, becoming lectors, ministers of Communion, altar servers, catechist, and money counters, just to name a few.
Vacant – Catechetical Leader – Please call the office at 315-331-6753 for information about our faith formation and sacrament preparation programs.
Katie Childs – Parish Secretary
I have been the parish secretary at St. Michael’s Church since 2006 and am a lifelong member of this parish. I live in the village of Newark with my husband, Chris, and our three children, Sarah, Evelyn and Liam. My family is actively involved in our parish, as well. I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years before coming to St. Michael’s, and hold a degree in Business Administration.
Some of my duties as secretary are editing the weekly bulletin, doing payroll, recording Sacraments and inputting Sunday’s collection into the computer. I fill in as bookkeeper when needed. The most enjoyable part of my job is meeting new and old parishioners that come in or call for different things and being able to help them with whatever they need.
When I am not working, I enjoy baking, spending time with my family and friends and watching my children in their many sport and school activities. You can usually find my family and me in the first pew at 10:30 am mass on Sunday.
I feel so blessed to be a part of St. Michael’s where the rest of the staff and the parish are an extension of my family. I hope to continue to assist St. Michael’s to the best of my ability for many years to come.
Gary Pierce – Business Manager
Prior to coming to work at Our Lady of the Lakes I spent thirty-seven years at JPMorgan Chase and its predecessors. During my career at Chase I had several different assignments, but most of my career was spent in Commercial Lending. While in working in our Binghamton office I managed the Commercial Lending Group. I accepted a position in Rochester where I managed five lending teams with a staff of fifty people. When Chase merged with Chemical Bank I accepted a position managing a commercial lending group that had loan officers in upstate NY, NJ, CT, White Plans and the Bronx. As my position was being moved to White Plains I made the decision to take a severance package and retire. What to do now??
Fr Bob Ring called and asked if he could chat with me about helping him out for ninety days as his Business Manager was leaving. Well, ninety days has turned into nine years with Our Lady of the Lakes and five wonderful years here at St. Michael’s Church as I split my time between the two parishes. Although I am not doing what I thought I would during retirement I truly believe it was Gods calling. So, if you have any questions about the finances of St. Michael’s church give me a call or send me an email.
Tim Schramm – Music Director
Hello everyone. I hail from Rochester, NY and I started playing the piano at the age of five and the organ a couple of years later. However, it’s the organ that has become my passion. I played my first church service at the age of 11. Since then I’ve been playing church services, weddings, funerals, organ dedications and theatre organ concerts. I have a long and rich history in the music field. My life is diverse, to say the least. After high school I found myself in piano and organ sales specializing in church organ installations. While in sales I would gig on the side. I am also a graduate of the Simmons Mortuary School in Syracuse, NY although I make my living as a full-time musician. For the past fifteen years I’ve held the position of Accompanist for the Rochester City School District. I am frequently hired to play the 4 manual Aeolian pipe organ at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film and I am extremely proud to have been named organist for the Walnut Hill Carriage Driving Competition in Pittsford, New York. I am the vice president of the Rochester Theatre Organ Society and serve as their program chair. My Theatre Organ concert career has been rapidly growing.
I’ve played concerts for the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda, Shea’s Buffalo, the Susquehanna Valley ATOS chapter, Syracuse and Lockport theatre organ groups. I love giving concerts in homes where pipe or electronic theatre organs are installed. Since 2005 I have traveled to England on numerous occasions as an artist in the Byron Jones Organ Festivals and to concertina on the restored Compton in Bristol. I’ve also concertized for the Kingston Theatre Organ Society in Kingston, Ontario. These concerts have taken my career international. My “baby” though is the annual RTOS Christmas show at the Auditorium Theatre which I produce using many local musicians.
Sister Kay Schwenzer – Hispanic Pastoral Administrator
How much I have enjoyed ministering in rural areas! In 2007 I began ministry to Hispanics in Newark and the surrounding areas which today take in parts of Wayne, Yates, Ontario and Seneca counties. I have learned much from the different Latino ethnic groups, each with its special flavor and beauty. My ministry began in Elmira as a teacher for twelve years at Notre Dame High School. Then a Fulbright grant for teachers to study and travel in India awakened my desire to serve among people of a different culture, so I responded to the Spirit to serve for thirteen years with other Sisters of Mercy in Santiago, Chile. There the university of daily life was added to my formal education at Nazareth College, Xavier University and St. Bernard’s Institute. My life was changed as I discovered our loving and just God among those in need living under a harsh dictatorship. The small Christian communities gave strength to its members; the gospel message took on real meaning for their lives. After returning to the U. S. I continued ministry with Latinos at St. Michael Parish, Rochester where for sixteen years I enjoyed serving both the English and Spanish-speaking as a pastoral minister and/or pastoral administrator. Immediately before coming to Newark I served as pastoral administrator at Our Lady of Lourdes in Brighton.
My roots began in Webster, NY where we five siblings grew up. My sister still lives in Webster, while my oldest married brother is in S. Carolina, my priest brother is in Texas, and my youngest brother is in Connecticut. I got to know the Sisters of Mercy as a student at Mercy High School Rochester. How I love being a Sister of Mercy; the name bespeaks what I desire for so many: God’s and my mercy for others.
Nature and its beauty capture and enthrall me; I enjoy walking, sitting by any body of water and letting it draw me into God. Learning captivates me, and I find reading or listening to books to be great sources of knowledge and enjoyment. I also get nourished by getting together with family and friends. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 315-277-0302.
Dominic Vitaro – Custodian
I am a life-long member of St. Michael’s Parish and have lived in Newark my entire life. After retiring from a State position a couple of years ago I began to do a bit more of my “handy man” jobs. I often volunteered my time at St. Michael’s School when my daughter was a student there, and it was an easy transition into becoming the maintenance man here at St. Michael’s. I work Monday – Friday from early morning until 12 noon, giving me my afternoons to work on some of my other hobbies, one of which is repairing lawn mowers. I also have served for many years as a volunteer fire fighter for the Marbletown Fire Department. I am married to Kerry (Hartman), and we have a 12-year-old daughter, Meghan, as well as 2 dogs, cats and many rabbits, which we breed and my daughter shows.